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August 15, 2010

Price Waterhouse to be investigated by SEBI

Price Waterhouse (PW) has
lost its petition to stop the Securities and Exchange Board of
India (SEBI) investigating the firm’s alleged role in the Satyam
Computer Services fraud. The
Bombay High Court ruled in favour of SEBI and also dismissed PwC’s
appeal against its ban from auditing
listed companies, Indian media has reported.

In its petition, PW, an Indian member
firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, argued that SEBI did not have
jurisdiction over the audit firm as the case has nothing to do with
the securities market. PW argued that only the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) could investigate firms’
professional conduct.

The ICAI
supported SEBI’s authority to probe the allegations of
irregularities against PW
in
the interest of shareholders.

PW has said it will consider filing an
appeal in the Indian Supreme Court.

The Satyam Computer Services fraud
unfolded in January 2009, when financial irregularities totalling
about $1.44bn, the largest corporate fraud in India’s history, were
discovered. PW was Satyam’s statutory auditor at the time the
irregularities took place.

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